diy // marquee letter lights.

1F9A5675

Been wanting an unexpectedly fun and 'urban minimalist' decor to spruce up my current tiny kitchen situation. In comes these marquee lights. They're perfect for that future dream kitchen look I'm going for - all white palette, natural wood and silver tones, pops of mint and neon yellow accent colors. Clean lines and all that jazz. I feel these marquee lights are a step in the right direction. It only took me 3 years to actually get started on them, but hey, baby steps, baby steps. This dream kitchen will happen. Eventually. Far future [gotta get a house first] eventually.

Well, what I thought would be a simple DIY turned into quite a time-consuming effort spanning a few days! So much eye-balling and realigning and spacing and poking and cutting and taping. In other words, the OCD in me took over, leading me into some very mixed feelings about these DIY marquee lights. Perhaps they should be of metal material to give that clean industrial look? A bit on the unpolished side? Too DIYish looking? Can't have wonky lights in that future minimalist dream kitchen! So for now, they will do til the real thing.

1F9A5500

Materials // Paper Mache LettersString Lights. X-acto Knife. Gold Spray Paint. White Tissue Paper. Scissors. Pencil/Pen. Clear Packing Tape. Newspaper.

firstdoub
seconddoub
thirddoub
fourthdoub
fifthdoub
sixthdoub
seventhdoub
eighthdoub
1F9A5684

How-to // 1. Use X-acto knife to cut off the top portion of each letter. // 2. Take out stuffing. // 3. Go outside. Lay down newspaper sheets on the ground, plop each letter on top (with open-side facing the ground), and spray paint away. One layer spray paint is enough. // 4. Wait for spray paint to dry. Takes about 15-20 minutes. // 5. Using pen or pencil, mark spots inside the now dry paper mache letters of where you would want the lights to be. // 6. Use X-acto knife to cut through the marks. Cut in an 'X' fashion. // 7. With the X-acto knife or Pen (with a wide base), further widen the hole by sticking the pen through the hole. // 8. Turn the letters over and cut off the excess cardboard with X-acto knife. // 9. Now with white tissue paper, plop the letters on top of tissue paper and trace with a pencil. // 10. Cut the letters out. No need to cut along the trace exactly. I recommend slightly cutting outside the trace for a 'wider' version than the paper mache letters themselves. That way, the tissue paper letter will fit snuggly inside the paper mache. // 11. Fit tissue paper letters inside paper mache letters. // 12. With X-acto knife, puncture holes through the tissue paper straight through the existing holes on the paper mache. // 13. Unscrew light bulbs off the light string. // 14. Fit light bulbs in the holes you've made in the paper mache letters. // 15. Screw the light bulbs back on the light string, this time with paper mache between the bulb and string. // 16. Bundle the light strings to the backside of the paper mache letters and tape them down. Try to tape it down where you can't see the light strings at all when you flip the letters over.

Difficulty // 7.

1F9A5657

besos ... jin.

diy // tissue carnation ampersand.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.

A simple Spring prop for a quick Spring family photoshoot. That's how I roll. (Last-minute DIYers UNITE!) Initially, I had planned to get fancy with the paper flowers. Dahlias. Roses. Peonies. Daisies. Poppies. All of it. Upon making the first of many paper flowers, I've come to realize -- 'I'm running out of time already!!' -- and just stuck with the easiness of paper carnations. In a mere 15 minutes I was done making paper flowers and quickly filling up the Ampersand. (Lazy DIYers UNITE!)

So. It's not all bad changing up the game plan. Less time DIYing, more time playing outdoors. Yeah?

Besides, Spring has finally sprung!

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

Materials // Paper Mache Ampersand. X-Acto Knife. Gold Spray Paint. Tissue Paper. String. Scissors. Newspaper.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

How-To // 1. Using the X-Acto knife, cut out the front part of the Ampersand. // 2. Take out the 'stuffing' found inside the Ampersand. // 3. Go outside. Lay down a few newspaper sheets, plop the Ampersand on top (with the open-side facing the ground) and spray paint away. One layer of spray paint is enough. // 4. As the spray paint dries, make some simple paper carnations! Don't know how? Go here for an uber simple tutorial. I kinda just eyeballed the sizes of the paper flowers until I was satisfied. // 5. Fill the inside of you Ampersand with paper carnations.

diy // paper carnation ampersand.
diy // paper carnation ampersand.

besos ... jin.

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

In the spirit of Fall, my patio is all kinds of pumpkin'd out. Which gots me thinking: A nice Fall wreath would tie it all together. But I didn't want just any normal wreath. Oh, no no no. Of course I had to do something different! So enter snazzy felt rosettes. I've always loved the idea of felt rosettes but never knew a classy way to use them without looking 'too cheesy crafty'. Although the idea of felt rosettes on grapevine wreaths are nothing new, so it's been challenging trying to figure out how to make it really unique from the pack. Here's what I came up with:

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

Materials // Grapevine wreath. 10-12 felt sheets of various colors (I've used 4 shades of orange). 6-8 flower stems. Scissors. Permanent Marker. Glue gun. CD case and/or Paper towel holder.

How-to // 1. Using a permanent marker, trace circles onto the felt sheet using a CD case and/or Paper towel holder. I used both 'cause I like the idea of varying rosette sizes. Two (maaaybe 3) is the max number of circles that can fit onto a felt sheet. // 2. Cut out circles. Don't cut along the black permanent pen trace, instead cut inside the pen trace. That way, no black markings will be seen on your rosettes. // 3. Now with your newly acquired felt circle, cut a wonky imperfect spiral all the way to the middle. The wonkier, the better! It adds a bit of character to the rosette! // 4. Starting from the outside edge, roll up the spiral. Make sure the bottom of the rosette is flat as you roll along. // 5. When done rolling, glue gun the remaining piece of felt onto the rosette. // 6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 until you have the desired number of rosettes in need. // 7. Start playing around with a design in mind! Then commit by sticking the flower stems in and glue gunning the rosettes onto the wreath.

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

In hindsight, I probably should've scaled back on the glittery flower stems. Kinda takes away from the felt rosettes and grapevine wreath itself, 'cause that wreath looks like it's on fiy-ah a la Hunger Games style. Perhaps, place the the flower stems behind the wreath? Or go minimalist next time and let the felt rosettes do all the talking. But overall, I am diggin' the different textures on this wreath. Now on the hunt for a mini stuffed fox to place inside of it!

diy // felt rosette fall wreath.
diy // felt rosette fall wreath.

besos ... jin.

diy // hanging vases.

diy // hanging vases.

I had it all planned out when I first saw these hanging vases from ModCloth. Go to Hobby Lobby, check out the selection of mini vases, buy the mini vases, tie them up with hemp, hang all off a nail, fill with water, decorate with purdy spring flowers. Sounds easy enough, right? Really nothing to it. Now I just have to wait for the glass sale to pop up at Hob to the Lob and master plan is a go-go. So just when I was about to purchase, A Beautiful Mess posted their version of the ModCloth Hanging Vase Display. And zang. Everything about it is so much better than what I had in mind. Particularly the mini vases they snagged from CB2. I must have them! Style, size, weight - they're absolutely perfect. So what if they were $30 more than what I would have spent at Hobby Lobby? When they're the ones - they're the ones.

diy // hanging vases.
diy // hanging vases.
diy // hanging vases.

Materials //

Short

and

Long

neck mini vases. Hemp. Long nail. Hammer.

diy // hanging vases.
diy // hanging vases.
diy // hanging vases.

I'm diggin' the dual functionality of the hanging display. A mini garden and unique home decor all in one. And oh-so-classy! I hate to say it, but the clean lines and minimalist appearance gives a grown up sense in my living room. Me! A grown up! Hah! (Guess it had to happen one of these days. =/)

besos ... jin.

diy // photo valentine card.

diy // homemade valentine cards to the girlfriends.

Because nobody does these anymore. Well, I'm reviving and bringing it back, baby. Here's a good ol' fashion homemade Valentine's card made with love coming your way. Sealed, stamped and delivered. (Seriously, who does that anymore??) You know that means a ton of something special if somebody is mailing a handwritten card to ya. Viva La Snail Mail!

diy // homemade valentine cards to the girlfriends.

Materials // Photos. Washi tape. Brown card stock. Double-sided tape or Glue Dots.

diy // homemade valentine cards to the girlfriends.
diy // homemade valentine cards to the girlfriends.

Other than V, the only other 'loves' of my life are my bestest best girlfriends. My confidantes, my backbones, my fellow daydreamers. Sisters from another mother and father. Each and every one of these girls are the complete opposites of me. Why would I want besties exactly like me? That would be boring. And weirdly predictable. But opposites do attract and these rainbow of personalities complement all facets of me. I love you, gals! Y'all inspire me to do this - dreaming and concocting and writing and mailing ... to you! 

besos ... jin.

diy // l-o-v-e ombre yarn letters.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

One evening, a hubster's help and a lil vino will get ya through this deceivingly easy DIY. That's right. Deceivingly easy. I must admit, at first glance the thought of constantly wrapping and weaving seemed a little intimidating, thinking it would take forevers. But I went for it anyways 'cause I'm irrational like that. Oh the things we do to have that certain unique decor that just clicks with your own aesthestic style, no matter how time-consuming it seems. 4 hours later and ... I'm done??

(I'm sure switching out the B and S of the original planned B-E-S-O with L and V might have something to do with cutting the time in half.) But hey, what a pleasant surprise to find a 'challenging' project to be notsobad. Even more of a reason to L-O-V-E this project. Huzzah.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

Materials // Paper Mache Letters. Yarn. Scissors. Mod Podge.

How To // My Sister's Suitcase Love Yarn Letters Tutorial.

Note: Besides the obvious use of different yarn colors from the tutorial, I've opted to use Mod Podge instead of a glue gun. It's been almost a week since finishing this yarn project and so far so good with the Mod Podge.

diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.
diy // l-o-v-e yarn letters.

besos ... jin.

diy // l-o-v-e glitter cake toppers.

diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.

I have a love affair with cake toppers. Particularly the handmade, simple ones. Often times I don't care what the cake flavor is. (That's a lie. Red Velvet or Lemon or Green Tea or any of my top 30 flavors all the way.) But as long as it's unique, fun, pretty - with a touch of whimsy - yah, I guess I really don't care what flavor it is!

diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.

Materials // Glitter paper. Skewers. Pencil. Scissors. Tape.

How To // 1. Take the glitter paper and turn it over to the backside. This is where you free-hand the L-O-V-E letters. Make them any size, and as wonky, as you like. The more imperfect, the better. Be sure to pencil in the letters backwards! // 2. Cut out the letters. // 3. Tape the skewers onto the backside of the letters. // 4. Go make some cakes/cupcakes pretty!

diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.
diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.
diy // L-O-V-E glitter cake toppers.

A much more affordable and temporary version than these BHLDN lovelies, innit?

besos ... jin.

diy // thread heart wall art.

diy // thread heart wall art.

For some reason this DIY project had looked better in my head than in real life. Maybe it's the poorly executed DIYness or misjudged placement above the (oh so green) couch, but these hearts needed a better styled vignette to give it justice. Fa sho. (In hindsight the space between the living room and the kitchen, underneath the branch art, is suddenly looking more of an appropriate spot.) Nevertheless, it needed minimal materials and anything that needs so little to make must be uber easy! (It was.)

diy // thread heart wall art.

Materials // Yarn. Push pins. Scissors.

The hardest part was actually deciding where to place the push pins. *Cue in major OCD* There was a lot of eye-balling and semi-measuring and re-adjusting. Many minutes (and tiny holes) later, came the fun part. Yarn crazy! I circled the heart about 3 times before zigzaging aimlessly all across. My only regret: it obviously needed more yarn. Thicker the better, I've came to realize, to really make the wall art stand out as a bold statement.

diy // thread heart wall art.
diy // thread heart wall art.

Next time, changing things up. Ombre, perhaps. (Always in hindsight. D'oh.) And a better vignette! (Again, this hindsight thing.)

Hope y'alls came out better! 

besos ... jin.

diy // gold glitter xo.

diy // gold glitter xo

Starting off the slew of Valentine DIYs with something so easy, it doesn't even need directions. (Mod Podge first then glitter away, if you're really that clueless!) So that way, I'll really blow your socks off when Valentine DIY decor #3478539 makes it's blog debut next week. Like what I did there? Eh? Eh? Oh the power of teasers!

diy // gold glitter xo

Materials // XO Wood Letters. Mod Podge. Paintbrush. Glitter.

diy // gold glitter xo
diy // gold glitter xo

It never ceases to amaze me how something so insanely simple to make can instantly change the home mood. Oh yes. Things are starting to feel very swoon festive around here!

besos ... jin.

diy // feather garland.

diy // feather garland.

Think it maaay be time to finally take down those Christmas decorations still bedazzling my humble condo abode. Didn't realize we're nearing the end of January! Seriously. 2014 is already blurring by too fast! (No? Just me?) So in an effort to move forward into this new year on the right foot, I've spent the weekend slowly taking down the Christmas Past while oh-so-slowly brainstorming Valentine decor. Good news: I've replaced my DIY Gold Pine Cone Garland that's been making my living room window look good with another DIY garland. Valentine's related. Woot. Impressed that I've got something Valentine's up this early? Think I've impressed myself!

But because it's so freakin' easy to make, it kinda feels like I've cheated a little bit. So easy, I'm not even gonna bother writing up the how-to!

diy // feather garland.

Materials // Feathers. String. Mini Clothespins. 

diy // feather garland.
diy // feather garland.

With these feathers up, feels like Spring is just around the corner. 'Cause, Winter. I'm so over you.

besos ... jin.

diy // gold pine cone garland.

diy // christmas pinecone wreath.

Another Christmas project that was supposed to be done last Christmas (waited too late, of course) aaand here we are a whole year later. Trying again. At the last minute. Of course. ;-) But I was determined to actually get it done this year, being our first Christmas in Austin and all, and so the Monday before Christmas I got busy. Check it out!

diy // christmas pinecone wreath.

Materials // Pine cones. Gold Metallic Spray PaintScrew Eyes (any reasonable size will do). Newspaper. Drill (not pictured). String. Scissors. Plyers (not pictured). Glue gun (optional / not pictured).

How to // 1. Lay some newspapers down outside, plop your pine cones down and spray paint away! // 2. Let paint dry. // 3. I ain't gonna lie. It's so much easier to drill a tiny hole in the pine cone first before applying the screw eyes. But if you can do it by hand, go for it. Use plyers for better grippage when getting those screw eyes in! // 4. Thread the string (of your choice) through the screw eyes. You can tie a knot at each screw eye as you go, but I'm OCD and I like my pine cones evenly spaced. To get that even-ess, skip the tying knot part, lay garland-in-process out on the floor, and shift pine cones up and down the string. Once satisfied with the spacing, bust out the glue gun and glue string to screw eye. // 5. Find a good place to show off that pine cone garland snazzyness!

diy // christmas pinecone wreath.
diy // christmas pinecone wreath.
diy // christmas pinecone wreath.
diy // christmas pinecone wreath.
diy // christmas pinecone wreath.

At one point I wanted to gild gold leaves onto the pine cones. Why not? Had some sheets left over from the Terra Cotta Pot project. But that would've taken a lot longer than need be (no bueno for last minute projects, you see) and besides, the gold metallic spray paint stills gives a nice pretty sheen. Now my tiny little living room window looks all festive and wintery and shiny and new for Christmas and New Year's! 

besos ... jin.

diy // christmas photo wreath.

DIY Christmas Photo Wreath.

I know, I know. Ain't gotta tell me. Another last minute holiday project done a couple of days before Christmas and just

now

posting 2 days after Christmas. But let's get past that teeny weeny lil fact. Crazy busy holiday schedules don't play nice on time management!

DIY Christmas Photo Wreath.

So on to the real reason why we're here. The photo wreath. I did tons of thinking and planning and thinking on this one (about a year) and when I finally got around to DIYing (albeit last minute), I purposely made the photo wreath sort of seasonal neutral. Transitional, if you will. There's no use going all out Christmas-y when you're only gonna have the wreath up for a bit. But with the right color palette, I feel the glittery goldness will sneak it's way well past New Year's. Maybe even make an early cameo next year around October when the Fall decors come out to play. Here's how I did it:

DIY Christmas Photo Wreath.
DIY Christmas Photo Wreath.
DIY Christmas Photo Wreath.
DIY Christmas Photo Wreath.

Materials // Styrofoam wreath. 8 Flower stems. Tons of 2" or 3" mini photos. (I resized my pictures using Photoshop). Tape. Glue gun. Ribbon. Plyers (not pictured). Safety pin.

How To // 1. Arrange the mini photos in a circular pattern. Use the styrofoam wreath as a guide as I have. Or not. Up to you! Play around until desired collage and arrangement catches your fancy. // 2. Use small pieces of tape to tape down your circular photo collage. Tape on top of the photos. This is just a temporary secure. // 3. Now flip the collage over, backside facing up, and heavily secure the pictures with tape, tape, tape. // 4. Flip the collage over once more and remove the tiny pieces of tape. // 5. Glue gun one side of the styrofoam wreath. // 6. Very quickly attach your collage onto the styrofoam wreath. To do this, lay your photo collage flat, backside facing up, and plop the styrofoam on it. This way you have a better idea where to place the styrofoam wreath, as evenly as possible, onto the photo collage. // 7. Time to add the flower stems! Stick them into the styrofoam in an even pattern. If the stems are too long, simply cut them shorter with plyers. // 8. The ribbon can easily be roped around the wreath. Just shimmy the ribbon between the pix and foam. You might have to undo some of the glue work, but that's ok. // 9. Safety pin the ribbon together.

DIY Christmas Photo Wreath.
DIY Christmas Photo Wreath.

I absolutely LOVE this quirky spin on the holiday wreath - if you're like me and love anything unconventional and weird and different and in search of a fresh way to display the loads of pix you've taken over the past year. (Trigger happy? Fist bump.)

besos ... jin.

diy // christmas photo tree.

diy photo xmas tree 2013.

Materials // Photos of various sizes. Washi tape. 

diy photo xmas tree 2013.
diy photo xmas tree 2013.
diy photo xmas tree 2013.

If the Christmas branch ain't doin' it for ya and your tiny space, I gots another space savin' Christmas tree solution to offer: the photo tree. It virtually takes no space whatsoever and it's a fun, unique twist to display personal pix of the past year in a somewhat unexpected way. Can we say ... conversation starter? Slap on a lil gold-striped washi tape. (Or hot pink, like I originally had planned.) Perhaps a glittery topper for added festive happiness. But ya know, I can live with it as is. The understated facade looks a bit classy, no? Kinda draws out the quiet humbleness of seeing snippets of your life / past year clumped together like so. Literally like seeing the big picture!

besos ... jin.

diy // christmas branch.

diy xmas branch 2013.
diy xmas branch 2013.
diy xmas branch 2013.
diy xmas branch 2013.

If you're kinda pressed for space like we are - absolutely no place to put a Christmas tree or festive decorations around a hearth, etc. - you kinda have to get creative and think up ways to have that tree and stockings and ornaments and the whole cake (and eat it, too!) without taking up too much of the already precious space. So try this. Take an ordinary branch, put it on a wall (in our case, between our room and the laundry closet) and bedazzle the hell out of it. Totally customizable to your own taste, which I luuurve, so get on with your bad self, girl, and decorate to your heart's content! This year I opted for a Charlie Brown inspired tree. Been on a minimalist binge lately and I find that this style gives me the most flexibility with my own personal taste without compromising any Jinisms. Marching to the beat of your own drum, ftw! (Seriously, get on with your bad self!)

Now sit back and revel in the awesomeness of a Christmas tree and stocking holder in one.

Winning.

besos ... jin.

diy // gold polka dot pumpkin.

DIY // gold polka dot pumpkin.

Been meaning to spruce up that pumpkin you've picked up weeks ago, but don't have time to deck it out and just now realizing Halloween is next week? Awesome. We're in the same boat. Into gold detailing like me? Double awesome. Grab some gold paint and a sponge. Ho-hum ordinary pumpkin, no more!

DIY // gold polka dot pumpkin.
DIY // gold polka dot pumpkin.

Materials // Gold acrylic paint. Sponge of any kind. Small container to hold paint. Pumpkin.

How to // 1. Sponge can be any shape, size, type. If you're like me and too cheap to buy an already affordable sponge, an old kitchen sponge will do. Just cut out a circle and you're good to go. // 2. Pour a small amount of gold paint into the container and dip sponge into paint. // 3. Stamp away! Make sure you press a little harder into the crevices of the pumpkin to get some paint in it's nooks and crannies.

DIY // gold polka dot pumpkin.
DIY // gold polka dot pumpkin.

Totally lovin' how my raggity old kitchen sponge makes the most imperfect gold polka dots ever. Kinda gives a fun, rustic vibe, no? Now to get fall festive on my patio and find a spot for all that imperfect gold-dotted pumpkiness!

besos ... jin.

pumpkin tree branches.

mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.
mini pumpkins on a branch.

I saw these pumpkin branch lovelies at Whole Foods and immediately picked up a 'bouquet' without hesitation. Anything with an unexpected twist - I'm on it! Actually, those aren't really mini pumpkins on a stick. They're really ornamental eggplants, or edible eggplants, if ya bravely curious enough to stir-fry away. Def gonna give that a go one day! But purely on the ornamental side, I'm in love with how these branches are utterly simple, yet adds a quiet whimsical-fall-foliage-in-the-forest statement piece in a classy way. Stick them in wine and Perrier bottles. Boom. Good to go. Festive autumn merriments, à la country chic meets city coffee shop, in just a couple of steps. Happy Friday!

besos ... jin.

diy // tissue tassel balloons.

diy // tissue tassel.

I love it when something so ordinary can be transformed into a whimsical beauty in a matter of minutes. Especially one that only needs a simple, insanely easy AND cheap twist to it's facade, such as these gold + mint tassels hanging off my otherwise ho-hum birthday balloons a few weeks ago. Now that's a vast transformation. It kinda makes birthdays fun again, if you're in your 30s (like me) and dreads getting older (like me). =/ Anyways, got 30 minutes? Here's how!

diy // tissue tassel.

Materials // Tissue paper, balloons (picked up from Party City), and scissors. (That twine in there is for the DIY tissue tassel garland, if ya ever wanna go that route. I kinda played with the idea after sprucing up my balloons.)

How to // Now I'd be lying if I said you don't need a step-by-step pictoral spread. Of course you need step-by-step pix! I didn't realize this until after the fact, as I sit here, attempting to list off written directions, thinking, 'This is confusing ish, man!' World's worse DIY tissue tassel directions ever, I know. But too lazy to go back and take step-by-step pix, here's the DIY tutorial from Designs by Nicolina that I based my tassels on. I didn't have a cutter on hand and used scissors instead, which is probably a much longer process. I also didn't cut the last piece all the way through. After the rolling process, I simply wrapped the rolled-up piece around the knotted end of the balloon and twisted away to secure. 1 or 2 tassels per balloon is the max before gravity takes over.

The easy way out on the directions, I'm sure, but honestly, I just really, really wanted to take pictures of the finished product. My favorite step in any DIY! And something I would rather do on my birthday anyways, getting inexplicably lost in the moment, snapping away at pretty things. All day long if I had a choice. Here are a few selects for your viewing pleasure.

diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.
diy // tissue tassel.

I would love to deck out a giant balloon with tons of tassels like these lovely Geronimo! creations, (an idea for a photoshoot that I've been meaning to do for, like, years) but this DIY was a last minute thing and had to settle with easily attainable materials in a hurry. So last minute, I've actually started and finished the project on my birthday! Queen of last-minute projects right here!

besos ... jin.

diy // floral crown.

diy // flower crown.

I love how these floral crowns are making a huge comeback as of recently, sneaking in cameo appearances in music festivals and bridal showers and tea parties and what not. I don't know what it is about them. Perhaps nostalgia (reminds me of me and my sissy's own teeny weeny floral crowns as little Chus'). Maybe part whimsy, cuz ya know, who doesn't like a good make-believe fairytale when daydreaming at that 9 to 5? Well, whatever it is, I'm bringing them back, baby. Here's to unleashing my inner flower child and kicking off the birthday weekend with an uber easy (and cheap!) DIY floral crown. Should make for interesting shots for the upcoming birthday shoot!

diy // flower crown.
diy // flower crown.
diy // flower crown.

Materials // Various plastic flower stems and garland, scissors, floral tape and/or clear tape.

How to // 1. Measure garland by wrapping it around head. Secure garland circle with floral/clear tape and trim off excess garland. // 2. Cut various flowers off plastic stems and add them to the garland, securing them with floral/clear tape. // 3. Work in one direction until done. Or until desired effect.

Note: Not sure if you'll have the same problem as me, but my floral tape kinda sucks. Like, really, really sucky. You know you got bad quality tape (or maybe all floral tapes are like this??) when it starts unraveling halfway through the DIY. Anyways, switching over to clear tape is a quick and inexpensive replacement. Mucho mejor!

diy // flower crown.

besos ... jin.

[diy] gold leaf terra cotta pot.

diy // gold leaf terra cotta pot.
diy // gold leaf terra cotta pot.
diy // gold leaf terra cotta pot.

Papa Chu recently gave me a basil-in-a-terra-cotta-pot (which is awesome considering all my other herbs just died =X) and I thought the pot itself needed some sprucing up. In need of a lil Jin treatment, ya know? It just looked so so naked and normal and ... blah, for lack of a better term. In comes this tutorial to solve that conundrum of normalcy.

First off - I couldn't justify getting the individual materials and so opted for a Gold Leaf Starter Kit to test the waters out. I wasn't quite ready to gild my lil heart out and ... what if it turned out to be uber hard? Well, it didn't. Just a lil messy at first, with the sticky fingers and the breezy conditions. Then I found this technique to be a life saver and it was smooth sailing from there on out. Done-zo in no time.

Verdict? I love how my patio has that touch of Old World vibe. A little bit of whimsy, a little bit of pretty, a little bit of unexpected, but not wholly pristine. Perfectly imperfect. Totally diggin' the mix of luxe and rustic!

besos ... jin.

{kitchen de ferrer} st. patty's day noms.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for gimmicky holidays. St. Patty's Day no exception. Here are some quick and easy leprechaun snackaroos that my festive little self made throughout the week of. And yah, I'm well aware I'm just now posting this. Procrastinator, I am. Or am I ... uber early? =P

st. patty's day noms.
st. patty's day noms.

1 -- Shamrock Chips with Hummus.

Sometimes the simplest of ideas just blows me away, like this recipe from Zakka Life. Simplicity at it's finest. Literally took me less than 10 minutes to make! Serve with your favorite hummus and life is good.

st. patty's day noms.

2 -- Mini Green Tea Buttermilk Cuppycakes.

Started off as Mini Green Tea Donuts adapted from A Beautiful Mess's version but had to scrap the whole mini donut idea after a few attempts. There were just too many issues to deal with and in the end, the mini donuts looked like mini cupcakes. So I proceeded down the mini cuppycake route instead. Glad I switched pans! Pot of gold right here, green tea cupcake addicts! I've been trying to find the perfect green tea cupcake recipe for the longest time and this *pointing at pic* is def a keeper. I'm still on the hunt for a light and fluffy green tea frosting recipe, so if ya know of one, send it to this gal. But for now, this Matcha Buttercream Frosting from Matcha Source is actually pretty matchalicious.

Note: The quality of matcha green tea powder does matter! Give Teavana's matcha a go. One of the best powders you'll ever bake with. A bit pricey, but so worth it! Don't thank me. Thank Teavana. ;-)

st. patty's day noms.

3 -- Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

Greener and slightly more scrumptious looking pancakes can be seen here by Love and Olive Oil. This pancake griddlin' business, man. It's truly a skill. One I have no patience for. But for those who are like me and can't stand cooking/baking for more than 30 minutes - bad news. There really is no way out of this one. (As if my pic evidence wasn't enough.) So turn that high heat down to medium and wait it out!

Note: Go on and add more mint extract than what the recipe calls for if you're into mint as much as I am. The amount of mint in the recipe was a little too subtle for my liking. So mint away!

st. patty's day noms.
st. patty's day noms.

4 -- Lucky Charms + Matcha Green Tea Latte.

This really needs no words. Another simple idea with a huge holiday impact. And why not take that green milk to the next level with a Green Tea Latte? Don't skip out on the green food coloring if your green needs a lil pop! 

These green foodie noms are lookin' like leprechaun bait, innit? Happy belated (or uber early! hah!) St. Patty's Day, homies!

besos ... jin.